Virtual Exhibitions in Navigator4D format

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and Navigator4D present the first project in Russia on digitizing a real exhibition in 4D format. In March 2020, a digital counterpart of the exhibition "From Durer to Matisse. Selected drawings from the collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts" was created. Today, due to the requirements to maintain distance and restrict physical access to museums, this innovative project can become an opportunity to touch art in a digital format at a new technological level.

About the project

Since 2012 the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts has been creating virtual tours of expositions and exhibitions using photopanorama technology with interactive calling of objects, descriptions and audio guides within the framework of the "Virtual Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts" project. But the Museum is constantly looking for opportunities to develop all forms of work. In March 2020, a cooperation agreement was signed with Navigator4D company, which offered to use full three-dimensional scanning technologies and its innovative developments in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts for the first time. As a result of the project, we managed to create a fully interactive 3D exhibition space consisting of several halls and 170 images of works in high resolution, with detailed descriptions in Russian and English. As part of the cooperation agreement, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts provided an opportunity to shoot exhibition spaces, information materials and images of masterpieces, and Navigator4D company at its own expense performed all the necessary work on shooting, processing, 3D modeling, programming, filling the project with content and creating a special software package to ensure its digital availability in 4D format.

Exhibition "From Durer to Matisse. Selected drawings from the collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts" opened on March 21, 2020 without the possibility of visiting.  It covers five centuries of history of the European pattern from late XV until the mid XX century, gives an idea of the variety of graphic techniques and different manners of drawing, allows us to trace the evolution of styles and artistic directions in the history of drawing, which reflected the General trends of development of European art over several centuries. The General sponsor of the exhibition is VTB Bank (PJSC).

About technology

4D technology is a combination of three spatial dimensions and the fourth – information. It is information about an object of historical, cultural or artistic heritage that most often forms an understanding of its uniqueness and value, linking myths, historical facts, objects, monuments and spaces into a single context.

Unlike traditional photopanoramas with fixed viewing points, the created project is a qualitatively different approach to Museum virtualization and digital transfer of the collection and Museum space. The technology developed by Navigator4D allows you to create a complete 3D replica of the entire Museum and exhibition space with high photorealistic detail, both the exhibits and the exhibition space itself. The technology itself has been developed for several years and has qualitative advantages over all existing solutions for virtual museums today. The virtual 3D space created in the project is absolutely indistinguishable from a real exhibition in a Museum. And in this created virtual replica, you can freely move in all directions, click on any window or exhibit for detailed viewing from all sides in 3D mode, which is often impossible to do in a real Museum, since many exhibits are located behind glass or turned to the viewer with only one side.

The search that works in the project allows you to find an exhibit or several objects by name or combination of letters and instantly move to it in the interior of the hall where it is located. A complete catalog with a chronological rubricator allows you to systematize Museum items by analogy with the printed version of the publication.

The exhibition project is presented as an application for a personal computer and can be used to create and demonstrate virtual interactive tours of the exhibition, embed in media projects and produce multimedia content, and develop children's game routes. The project will be available for free download by users for Windows and Mac OS. On the Internet, you can demonstrate some of its features, such as video captures of walks, demonstration of objects, high-quality photo screens of exhibition spaces.

The 4D technology includes several blocks and stages:

  • Three-dimensional digitization of Museum spaces and halls using photogrammetry and precise laser scanning.
  • Three-dimensional scanning of all three-dimensional Museum exhibits, objects and interior elements of the Museum halls.
  • Creating an interactive three-dimensional structure of the Museum halls together with the exhibits located in it.
  • Filling the project with text descriptions, audio accompaniment, and creating interactive animated tours.
  • Creating a single catalog of a virtual Museum with a categories based on spatial or thematic principles.
  • Localization of the project in several languages.

To create the project, four specialists took more than 20 thousand high-quality photos within four days. To get digital renderings of each room, it took more than 100 hours of machine time of several powerful graphics computers. Source digital materials take up more than 200 GB of disk space. Work on the project lasted more than a month and a half almost around the clock.

Since 2015, Navigator4D has created more than ten full-fledged digital 4D copies of museums located in Russia, France and Switzerland: MACM Museum of Art in Mougins, France with a private collection of antique weapons and works by famous artists and sculptors, the largest archaeological Museum in Switzerland Latenium, a replica of the world-famous Chauvet cave with rock paintings in France, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Nice. Detailed information about 4D museums and Navigator4D projects can be found on the Website www.navigator4d.com.

Today, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts uses the experience accumulated by colleagues to present a new project.

We invite you to take a walk since May 28th!